Who loves when salted caramel makes it way on most menus during the fall time? I sure do. So this is why I had to make the best salted caramel chocolate cake.
We all know that I am not a chocolate cake lover, but when salted caramel is added anywhere in it, on it, or even around it, I just dig in! Nonetheless, I will just eat spoonfuls of the salted caramel itself without any cake! It's just that good.
A 6 inch moist chocolate cake layered with heaping spoonfuls of salted caramel sauce and salted caramel buttercream frosting. This is a cake that can be made for any celebration and the guests will be raving about it the next day!
As I am preparing my stuffed cookies (40 effin dozen) for our local Fall Fest here in Muk town, I had a lot of homemade salted caramel sauce left over.
"Poof" my inspiration for a cake with the salted caramel sauce was born! After all, it would be a sacrilege (using big words today) to let that special sauce go to waste! This cake was time consuming, but practicing my piping skills is something I can always use! Needless to say, my parents are getting this cake tomorrow as I don't want the extra calories around in my home!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cake Flour: All-purpose may be used as well
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Heavy cream
- Confectioner's sugar
- Store bought caramel sauce can be used as well
Tips for the best caramel sauce!
Any caramel sauce can be tricky if trying for the first time. However, I have become a veteran at this over the last two years and these tips below may really help any newbie out!
- Measuring your ingredients before hand is pivotal in this process. If you don't, you are almost sure to burn the sugar when trying to measure out the cream or cut the butter.
- Use the right size pot or saucepan. When adding the heavy cream, the caramel will bubble up a lot and will go over.
- It is important to use room temperature heavy cream and add it slowly the the caramel as it also likes to bubble up. If too cold, the mixture will seize and you will create more work for yourself in making it smooth again,
- Best way to actually clean caramel off any pot or saucepan is to plunge it in cold water. It will crystalize and you will be able to pick it right off.
Steps to make a salted caramel chocolate cake
- Prep the kitchen and equipment: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cake pans and place parchment rounds in each of them. Set aside.
- Whisk dry ingredients: In a mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Make batter: Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Next, slowly add in milk until incorporated. Fold in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Transfer batter into cake pans and spread evenly.
- Bake Cake: Bake for 25-28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire rack to complete cooling. Put each cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
- Make caramel sauce: Prepare heavy cream and cube room temperature butter. In a large saucepan or pot, heat sugar on medium and constantly stir with heat resistant spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a dark amber color. Once sugar has melted, add butter until it is melted and combined. Once combined, let it boil for a minute without stirring. Slowly stir in heavy in cream and once combined, let it boil for a minute. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Let it sit until it reaches room temperature.
- Make buttercream frosting: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly, add in confectioner's sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined. Pour in room temperature salted caramel sauce and mix on medium until light and whipped.
- Assemble the cake: Remove cakes from fridge. Place one round cake on cake plate. Layer the top with a thin coat of buttercream and then caramel sauce. Add next layer and do the same process until all cake layers on on. Place crumb coat on entire cake and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove and pipe thicker coat of frosting on cake until it is smooth. Drizzle caramel sauce on top. Slice and enjoy!
- Change the cake flavor to a white, yellow or even dark chocolate.
- Add caramel bits to the top and within the cake.
- Add pecans on top and within the frosting.
If you pack your flour in your measuring cup, the texture of the cake will be dried out and dense.
Salted caramel chocolate cake
- Electric mixer
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Three 6 inch round cake pans
- Large saucepan
- 1¾ cup cake flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup 2% milk
Salted caramel sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter cubed
- ½ cup heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
Salted buttercream frosting
- 1 cup caramel sauce from above
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three to four 6 inch round cake pans. Place parchment rounds in bottoms of each pan. Set aside.
- Whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add in the sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
- Slowly, pour in the milk until it is combined. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet mixture and fold with a spatula until well combined.
- Transfer batter to round cake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert cakes onto cooling rack after 10 minutes of cooling in pan.
- Once cool, wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for assembly.
Salted caramel sauce
- In a medium-large sauce pan heat the granulated sugar over medium heat (stirring constantly). Sugar will form clumps and melt into an amber colored liquid as you are stirring.
- Once sugar has completely melted and dissolved, stir in butter immediately until it has melted. Make note that the caramel will bubble at this point when the butter is added. If the butter either separates or the sugar clumps up, be sure to keep on whisking vigorously to combine it again. It will come together and once it has return to heat.
- Once the butter has melted and come together with the sugar, cook for one minute without stirring.
- Slowly stir in the heavy cream. This will also cause the caramel mixture to bubble rapidly (heavy cream colder than caramel). Once all the cream has been added, allow to boil for a minute without stirring.
- Remove from heat and stir in salt. Allow it to slightly cool down before using. It does thicken as it cools.
Salted caramel buttercream frosting
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter on medium high for 2-3 minutes or until it is light and fluffy. Add in the confectioner's sugar and mix on low to combine.
- Add in the cooled down caramel sauce and cream on medium for a couple of minutes or until fluffy. Mix in salt and vanilla extract. More confectioner's sugar or milk or water may be added until you reach your desired consistency.
Assembly of cake
- Add one cake layer on top of a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cake (caramel sauce won't get too soaked up). Pour about ¼ cup of caramel sauce on top of buttercream. Add another thin layer of buttercream to the bottom of the next cake layer and place on top of caramel sauce. Repeat this process until all the cake layers are added.
- In a large piping bag fitted with a round tip, pipe buttercream around layers of the cake and smooth out. Set in fridge for 15 minutes (crumb coat). Remove cake and add thicker layer to the sides and top of cake. Add a caramel drip layer if desired. If you do so, put in fridge to let drip layer harden slightly.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Keep cake in airtight container in fridge for 3-5 days.
Cakes, cakes, and more cakes!
Fun fact of the day!
3.6 cans of Spam are consumed each second. My stomach just churned!